Another Such Victory and I Am Undone
Harper’s Weekly 24 March 1877
The Republicans lost the store on this one. They did get a fig leaf… the feds agreed not to fund abortions in the District… that’s all that the TPers got. They didn’t even get all of the 61 billion dollars (1.7 trillion Roubles 42.1 billion Euros 37.3 billion UK Pounds) in cuts that they were demanding; they only got 38 billion dollars (1.1 trillion Roubles 26.2 billion Euros 23.2 billion UK Pounds). This was the apogee of the Tea Party… it proved itself an utter failure in getting any of its stated goals. Let’s look at some real figures. Here’s where how a recent budget broke down (it hasn’t changed much):
Here’s the increase in the DoD budget since 2000:
It’s clear that the burden placed on the economy by insane Republican wars has to end, and end NOW. We have to withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan… neither one is vital to American interests. Iran is countered by American forces stationed in the Gulf States… there’s no need of an American occupation of Iraq. Afghanistan is an indigestible lump that no one has ever conquered… the Brits couldn’t do it… the Sovs couldn’t do it… and the USA is failing to do so at present. We must do exactly what the Roman state did after the time of the conquests of Trajan… the empire was overextended, so, it withdrew from Mesopotamia, giving it a more defensible border with Parthia. It diminished the essential power of Rome not one whit.
If one is to cut the budget in a serious way, the way to do it is to scale back DoD spending to the level of 2000. That would generate 400 billion dollars(11.214 trillion Roubles 276 billion Euros 244 billion UK Pounds) in savings in a 3.8 trillion dollar (106.5 trillion Roubles 2.6 trillion Euros 2.3 trillion UK Pounds) budget, a savings of 10.5 percent. The present cuts are only 1 percent of the budget. It’s clear… we must end the wars, bring home the legions, and cut our losses. There’s another, more human reason… the US forces are war weary, suicides and mental breakdowns are at record levels. We need a generation of peace… it’s not only the money (which is quite bad enough), it’s the fact that US forces are tied down in peripheral theatres and the troops are at the end of their psychological tethers. A given human being can only tolerate so much stress… then, folks start getting squirrelly. What’s worse, these are squirrelly folks with guns.
Nevertheless, the news in this is that the Tea Party blinked. I said that the Tea Party suffered a grievous defeat in the 2010 elections… the GOP needed supermajorities in both houses of Congress to override President Obama’s expected vetoes. The GOP didn’t get that… ergo, they were beaten badly last November, but the apparent victory in the House of Representatives blinded most observers to that fact. The present deal is where the rubber hit the road… the Dems control the White House and the Senate… the GOP had a choice… have a government shutdown or fold their demands. They chose the latter… expect Boehner to come under attack from TP extremists. At least, President Obama was wise enough to give Boehner the fig leaf of a minor concession on abortion… it’ll drive a wedge in the GOP caucus.
Break out the bubbly… the GOP lost, they lost big time… is this a hint of the future? Maybe… maybe not… but this isn’t what the rightwing pundits and commentariat was predicating, no, not in the least. Now, comes the hard part… shall responsible Republicans rein in the TPers? THAT remains to be seen…
Saturday 9 April 2011